This Wyoming state park surrounds the Guernsey Reservoir which flows from the North Platte River. The entire reservoir is open to visitors for swimming and boating; campgrounds are situated around it creating a pleasant vacation getaway for those interested in staying overnight.
Special features inside of this park are the structures left behind by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Historic landmarks – Guernsey Museum, The Castle and Brimmer Point – date back to the 1930s and are considered the finest examples of their kind in the Rocky Mountain area. These sites were part of the recreational facilities that the CCC created around the reservoir after the Guernsey Dam was erected.
The lake may be the focal point for the park but there are plenty of other activities to do here as well including trails, fishing, geocaching, wildlife watching and sightseeing. And if you’re planning a day trip or large group gathering the large-sized picnic shelters can be reserved in advance.
Whether you are planning to stay for a few days or a few hours you’ll want to make the most of your visit.
Here is a closer look at each of the activities available inside Guernsey State Park:
Swimming at Guernsey State Park
Because the entire lake is open to visitors, swimming is among the most popular activities here. Miles of prime shoreline make for ideal beach conditions and there are 4 beach areas: 2 public beaches inside of Sandy Beach Campground, 1 private for campers at Sandy Point and another private beach for campers at Sandy Cove.
The beach areas are open from 6am until 10pm during season.
Boating at Guernsey State Park
The entire lake is also open for boating except in the designated beach areas and as water levels allow (they fluctuate due to the dam). Kayaking, tubing and water skiing are especially popular.
There are 3 boat ramps and each has a dock attached. The ramps are located at Sandy Beach, Long Canyon Campground and the third is just north of the dam.
Rentals for boats, jet skis and equipment are available from several sources.
Fishing at Guernsey State Park
Shore and boat fishing are available but limited to the spillway area only. Bring your fishing equipment or rent nearby on your way in and don’t forget to pick up a state fishing license.
The reservoir is stocked annually with walleye, channel catfish and gizzard shad. You’ll also find bass, sunfish, crappie, smallmouth bass, wipers and yellow perch in these waters.
Hiking at Guernsey State Park
There are 10 miles of trails here for year round walking, hiking and horseback riding. They are part of the park’s 14 miles of historic trails that were originally created by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s.
The trails start at the turnoff to Brimmer Point and wind throughout the park. Spectacular views of the reservoir and the dam are visible from the many overlooks.
Another historic feature here are the leftover ruts from the Oregon Trail. Also, Register Cliff still contains a sort of chalkboard where travelers passing through wrote their names.
There is a trail kiosk at the start of the trails (at the turnoff to Brimmer Point). Here are a few of the more popular trails:
- Tunnel Mountain Trail – a moderate trail that is 3.4 miles long.
- Brimmer Point Trail – an easy trail that is just under 1 mile long.
- Peak View Trail – another easy trail just under 3 miles in length.
- Davis Bay, Newell Bay Loop – an easy trail loop 2.7 mile long.
Biking at Guernsey State Park
As well as hiking trails there are another 12 miles of challenging trails on the west side of the park for mountain bikes. Biking is also allowed year round on all established roadways.
The trail kiosk at the turnoff to Brimmer Point highlights these specific trails.
Geocaching at Guernsey State Park
Multiple sites and activities are available year round throughout the park. The sites are hidden to make it more fun for participants.
Wildlife at Guernsey State Park
Wyoming is home to some 100 mammal species and another 400 bird species. Wildlife viewing does not disappoint, no matter the time of year you choose to visit, but is considered best during the Spring and Autumn.
Some species to watch for are: deer, antelope, buffalo, mountain lions, wolves, moose, bears, wild horses, bald eagles and wild turkeys. If visiting the park during the Spring you’ll be sure to also spot many migrating birds.
Camping at Guernsey State Park
Year round camping is available at the 7 campgrounds located inside the park. There are 245 campsites all together and 5 of the campgrounds are situated around the lake.
Comfort stations, drinking water, picnic tables and fire grills are available throughout the park. Showers are located at Park Headquarters and only open April 15 through October 15.
For RV owners Sandy Beach and Sandy Point campgrounds have electric and water hookups available. Please note though that water is not available between October and April.
There are also 4 Yurts available to rent year round and make for a more comfortable stay during the colder off season months. They overlook the scenic reservoir and are near The Castle.
Playgrounds can be found at Long Canyon and Sandy Point campgrounds. And Sandy Point also has a horseshoe pit for those interested in that classic game.
Most campsites require reservations from May 1 to September 30.
Guernsey State Park
2187 Lake Side Drive
Guernsey, WY 82214
Guernsey Museum Hours:
Open daily 9-5 May 1 – September 30
Here is a brief YouTube video showcasing a number of attractions at Guernsey State Park: